Sunday, 31 July 2011

Mum on the Run - A dress for a sunny day

I'm using a little artistic licence today.  I actually wore this dress earlier in the week but to reveal what I am wearing today would be not only a crime against fashion but also one against humanity. I can describe it though - striped top, PJ shorts and Mini Boden sheepskin boots - totally stunning (not!) 

The style of this Oasis dress is good for any pear shaped ladies.  The neckline serves to broaden the shoulders whilst the movement in the skirt disguises heavier hips/legs - bringing your shape back into proportion.  I am also wearing Cath Kidston flip flops.

I am nursing what can only be described as an unusually strong adverse reaction to alcohol today, which is most unlike me.  I was unable to stand up for much of the day but having conquered that inability was so worn out by the effort that I had to lie down again.  Probably not the most productive use of a sunny day (especially given how much I complain when it is cold) but it really wasn't my fault. I'm not sure whose it was, or how it happened but there we go.

Cath Kidston Ltd.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mum on the Run - With her friends!



There are certain things in life that make us nostalgic and these things provide us with comfort.  It may be hearing a tune on the radio that reminded us of our school discos, the smell of a perfume that our Grandma used to wear, or visiting a familiar holiday destination from when we were young. 

For me, recounting stories to our children of what I got up to with my friends when I was at school is a great way of re-living my memories and remembering the fun times that I had with them - well, other than when the children ask me whether electricity had been invented when I was a child and then I am just indignant! 

There was the incident at school when the picture that I had drawn of a certain part of the male anatomy was held up by one of my friends to show to the class.  Drawing never was my strong point but at least the class found it funny.   Or the time that my friend and I were cycling to school and, as a result of laughing so much, she ended up nearly falling off her bike only saving herself by discarding the chocolate bar that she was eating over her shoulder, and in turn over a hedge, into someone's garden.  Why we were eating chocolate bars at 8.30 am escapes me now but we will always share that memory.  Those moments of closeness, laughing so much that your sides ache, must have positive health benefits of that I am sure. What I am not so sure though about the RSI I received as a result of writing lines because I was laughing with my friends, rather than concentrating. 

Nivea are marking their 100th birthday with a celebration of closeness in modern Britain, entitled "A Million Moments of Closeness".   Their aim is to literally capture "A Million Moments of Closeness".  You can join in NIVEA’s celebration by uploading photographs of you with a friend, sibling, partner, parent or child at facebook.com/niveauk, or you can look out for their road shows, throughout the UK, where you can jump into a photo booth and have your picture instantly uploaded. You can also pick up free goodies if you attend the roadshow events.

As part of their campaign, Nivea have enlisted the help of Professor Beattie, a psychologist, for expert advice on tips for making friends as adults. These tips include sharing a secret with someone, paying attention to what people are saying and never saying "Nice".  In context I think that "Nice" can be a good word to use.  I got chatting to one of my now closest friends by use of the word "Nice" as in "Nice bag!"  We then went on to discover that we had the same forenames, year of birth, number of children, occupations and we were both left handed.  OK, so that's not why we are friends, our love of cakes, running and her ability to crack me up help in that department but the word "Nice" definitely featured as an opening to our friendship.  

Whether you share your pictures on Facebook or at the roadshow, at the end of each day, Professor Beattie will choose his favourite picture and the winner will receive one of 100 prizes worth £100.

As for making new friends as an adult - is it harder?  I can't say that I have noticed that it is but everyone is different.  Some people have, and need to have, lots of friends.  Others have one or two close friends and that is all.  What I am sure of though is that we all derive huge benefits from our friendships and with families often fractured by distance, friends have, it is said, become "the new family."  However what I have noticed is that modern technology has changed how we conduct our friendships.  How did we ever manage at University to make an arrangement for the following week and not change it? No mobiles, no texts, no being late.  We had to stick to it. 

An old University friend and I have recently got back in touch after many years and we decided to do something that was special to our friendship as we knew it whilst at University.  So, the way that we stay in contact is by writing to one another - sending cards and letters when we can.  We are both busy and it doesn't happen as often as we would like but there's something lovely about opening the door after a long day at work and seeing her familiar handwriting on a card on the mat.  I wait until the children are in bed and then curl up and savour reading each and every word, then putting the card on the mantle piece for a few weeks before filing it away in a memory box.  Can a text or an email compete with that?  I don't think so.  Sure, texts and emails have their place in modern day life and for those with family and friends abroad, Skype is fantastic - but for those friends for whom you would drop everything in a crisis, hearing their voice in a telephone call, see their writing in a letter and even better, seeing them face to face, if only once a year, is something to be treasured above all else.   

  


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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Mum on the Run - Birthday suit!


Fortunately, that's not all that I am wearing but it is my birthday today and I share it with none other than Jennifer Lopez and Wonderwoman.  How fab is that?   For once the sun shone,  which is a rarity despite the fact that I have a July birthday.  We all had a great day, with a highlight being a trip to Selfridges to buy birthday cakes.  They were fab but we universally agreed that the chocolate biscuit cake made by my husband and our daughter was still the best.  Even better - I get to choose what we watch on TV tonight.  My husband just can't wait to start Eat, Pray Love....NOT! I'm letting him watch Top Gear first though - just so that he can brace himself.

I always tend to play it safe clothes wise at Christmas and birthdays as I don't want to worry about what I am wearing. Having said that, my new Ted Baker top made an outing but with tried and tested (with plenty of room for eating) straight jeans and ballet pumps.  My grey Mulberry is also a year old today so that had to come out too!

When we got home it was really hot so I changed into a white sun dress and flip flops then sat and read the paper before friends came round and we all had fizz (and more cake!)  Bliss!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Mum on the Run - An evening out with the girls

Last night I went out with a group of friends for dinner. I knew that it was going to be hot so that ruled trousers out - that and the fact that they tend to have a waistband which I really could have done without.  Also, being the wimp that I am, it's not often that it's warm enough for me to go out in a summer dress without the need for extra layers and so I took full advantage of the balmy summer evening. Having had such a great time last night I now feel fully rejuvenated in one sense but also a little bit worse for wear around the edges!

Dress - Reiss, shoes Pied a Terre

John Lewis Partnership PLC












Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mum on the Run - In a 500byGucci!

Do you remember how, in the early 1990's, everyone aspired towards owning a Gucci belt or a pair of Gucci loafers.  Remember the LBD that Posh Spice wore which everyone assumed was Gucci (in fact, it was Topshop)?  Well, now there's a new kid on the block.  To celebrate both the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy and Gucci's 90th anniversary, Fiat and Gucci have collaborated to create the 500byGucci - a stylish, simple and sophisticated car, which is unsurprising really given that it was customised by Frida Giannini, the Creative Director of Gucci.

Now, I am married to someone who is utterly and completely obsessed by cars.  I have spent many an hour having "Car Chats" and my knowledge of cars is really far greater than it should be.  So, here's the technical info.  The Italian car comes with two engines, a 1.2 litre and the award winning 0.9 litre Twin Air.  They are priced at £14,565 and £15,765 respectively.  Best of all, you can even order the car online.  All you have to do is pay a deposit, order it from the factory, track the car's progress and make a final payment.  The car can even be delivered especially to your home.  It's as simple as ordering a pair of shoes - Gucci, naturally. 

So, now to the aesthetics.  The 500byGucci comes in both black and white, each benefiting from glossy pearl glass paint.  The black version comes with chrome detailing, whilst the interior contrasts sharp black and white for a contemporary feel.  The white version comes with satin chrome detailing, whilst the interior is ivory black giving it a softer, sophisticated look.  Both showcase Gucci's distinctive colours and iconic branding.

 

I think that it is fair to say that some pairings in life work - Fish & Chips, Wills & Kate, James Bond and Moneypenny - others however aren't so successful - the Montagues and Capulets, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Cheryl Cole and American X-Factor. 

The collaboration between Fiat and Gucci however has success written all over it.  There are lots of families who run two cars, one large one and one smaller one as a run around.  The 500byGucci definitely appeals to me in that regard.  OK so the children won't be able to play a double base or a tuba but that really doesn't create a problem in my mind.  Not even a small one.  In the words of Elena Bernadellli, marketing director for Fiat Group UK "it will also appeal to those fashionista customers who want to have a unique car to distinguish themselves."  To me it's fun, fresh and exciting, which is exactly what a car should be. 

The 500byGucci is available in the UK from this summer and you can find out more by registering at www.fiat.co.uk/500bygucci


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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Mum on the Run - A stripy jumper dress


The day started out a lot smarter than it ended up. I had a meeting with a hotel in the City Centre and so I started off with black trousers, silk shirt, black blazer and heels.  Knowing that I didn't want to be too dressed up when I collected the children later on, I took some spare clothes with me to change into. Apologies at this stage to anyone who saw me getting changed in my car whilst parked in the Waitrose car park. Anyway, off came the silk shirt, black blazer and high heels and on went the stripy jumper dress and flats.  Ah, that was more like it! I love my new jumper dress - I know that it is too big but it is so comfortable and I can wear it as a dress with wedges, with flats, with trousers and flats, with a leopard print belt, with a sparkly scarf -it's just so versatile and at £14.99 it just had to be.

Anyway, now that all three are at home having finished school, what are they doing?  Well, having come home to a lunch seriously lacking in nutrition - actually one hasn't even eaten yet so he really is lacking in nutrition - they are now watching dvds of course - a whole afternoon's worth. How bad is that on the first day of their holidays? 

I used to do exciting things like take them to the cinema, or bowling, or out for lunch (together with the rest of the school) but I have given up.  All those bags, woodwork objects and waiting to be served - it all got a bit much. Plus they are all whacked so Blockbuster it was this morning and I can highly recommend it.  The youngest chose Tangled, or Rapunzel or, as she calls it "Buckpunzel" - and yes, you do have to be careful how you pronounce that one - especially in public. Her swearing vocabulary is already much larger than it should be for a three year old and I don't think that we really need to add to it.

So, that's us sorted for the afternoon - well until they appear for some highly questionable snack, which I will grant, just for today. They think that they have got off lightly. What they don't realise is that I am spending the afternoon typing up lists of jobs for them to do whilst on holiday - there will be daily jobs and weekly jobs, some they may earn pocket money for but most they won't. They think that the witch on Buckpunzel is bad?  They ain't seen nothing yet!

Outfit: Trousers Ted Baker, Jumper dress H&M, Shoes Dune  

Monday, 11 July 2011

Mum on the Run - more like Mum on the Sprint!




Crikey, what a day.  It's warm, which is great and I was working with a lovely lady today.  Then it was home and time for ballet, school run etc. I was really hot when I came home and had five minutes to change before going out so I went for the safe summer formula of white (dress), tan (belt) and gold (shoes). 

Unfortunately the dress was more see through than I realised when I bought it, so on my way out I grabbed a long vest to stop me from being indecent.  Unfortunately it spoiled the neck line of the dress a bit but that's what Mum on the Run is all about - not always having the time to get it exactly right but doing the best we can with the time available.  By the time this photo was taken the stack of bangles had come off and a couple of other accessories were lost somewhere along the way.  Mind you by that stage I was past caring - a cup of milk had been chucked across the kitchen (accidentally) and our son had looked at the dinner that I had cooked and said "why on earth did you think that I would like that?"  And the summer holidays haven't even started yet! 

Dress - French Connection, Shoes Dune.




Sunday, 10 July 2011

Mum on the Run - A Sunday at home


Today we were up to the usual family chores - ironing, tidying, chopping the tangles out of the hair of our three year old (she now has a bit of a combover at the back but it works fine) and cooking lunch from Jamie's 30 minutes cookbook. OK, so the meals may take 30 minutes to cook but it takes about three and  half hours to tidy up afterwards.  I think that I may soon be reverting to my one pot cookbook - it's stew or soups for us now until the end of the year.

As for the outfit, this black linen dress is great for days around the house.  It's fairly childproof and has a decent length on it so I can go on the trampoline without giving the neighbours a shock.  I had to go out in the afternon to pick our son up from a party so put my gold wedges on for that but I also wore it with flip flops when I was at home.  Well, more accurately our daughter's flip flops.  I mugged her when she returned from her camping trip and pinched them off her as her Cath Kidston ones are much nicer than any that I own.  Surely that can't be right.

Outfit - Dress French Connection, Shoes Dune, Bag Orla Kiely

Dune

Mum on the Run - A Sunday at home


Today we were up to the usual family chores - ironing, tidying, chopping the tangles out of the hair of our three year old (she now has a bit of a combover at the back but it works fine) and cooking lunch from Jamie's 30 minutes cookbook. OK, so the meals may take 30 minutes to cook but it takes about three and  half hours to tidy up afterwards.  I think that I may soon be reverting to my one pot cookbook - it's stew or soups for us now until the end of the year.

As for the outfit, this black linen dress is great for days around the house.  It's fairly childproof and has a decent length on it so I can go on the trampoline without giving the neighbours a shock.  I had to go out in the afternon to pick our son up from a party so put my gold wedges on for that but I also wore it with flip flops when I was at home.  Well, more accurately our daughter's flip flops.  I mugged her when she returned from her camping trip and pinched them off her as her Cath Kidston ones are much nicer than any that I own.  Surely that can't be right.

Outfit - Dress French Connection, Shoes Dune, Bag Orla Kiely

Dune

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Mum on the Run - A sunny Saturday

I love Saturdays. When I wake up there's an expectation that the sun will be shining, that (somehow) peace and serenity will settle on the house and that we will live a day of harmony - oh, and that a perfect tapas style lunch will appear which we will all sit down and eat together. 

I have a feeling that we may get part of the way there today.  Our eldest is away and as much as we love her (and her highly amusing school report), she does have an amazing capacity to wind her brother up.  We have now reached the stage that the fighting between those two is so legendary that our youngest, who is starting school in September, has asked me "When I get home from school, do I have to have a fight?"

The only thing that makes me wonder whether I am aiming a little too high is the theory that my husband put to the test last night, which went like this:

  • Juice based cocktails don't make you drunk, because they have juice in them;
  • Juice based cocktails are good for colds - because they have juice in them;
Yep, you can guess what he was drinking last night.  Given that he didn't get up until mid-day today, I wonder whether he was wrong.  I couldn't possibly comment whether it was a cold or a hangover which kept him in bed for so long but my loyalty to him would have to say that it was a cold (together with the fact that he might read this at some stage and get grumpy if I insinuated that he had a hangover).

So, the outfit was simple, a Ted Baker cream top and navy trousers together with the sparkly flats.  It got a bit hot later on when I was playing table tennis so I swapped it all for a dress but that's another story.

Cath Kidston Ltd.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Mum on the Run - Boyfriend jeans and a pretty top


I started out the day in running gear but when I realised at 11.30am that I still hadn't been and was unlikely to, I decided to get changed.  I am not sure why but I dug out my boyfriend jeans, something that I haven't worn for ages.  Being a bit grungy on my bottom half, I needed something a little prettier to wear on top so picked my favourite lace top from Monsoon.  Given that I was doing lots of ferrying around of children today, crawling through play tunnels (that was a decidedly bad move given that I got stuck) washing and general jobs, this worked fine for me.

Jeans Topshop, Lace top Monsoon, Converse Jones

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mum on the Run - An outfit for lots of occasions


It's been a while since I last posted a picture and so I decided that today would be the day to start again - after all, how hard could it be?  I had a lot of different things on today and little time to change so I chose an outfit that would do for styling a client this morning, going to a tea party in preparation for our youngest starting school this afternoon and then onto the eldest's school fete. 

I chose straight jeans, a silk LK Bennett shirt, sparkly flat sandals and my Orla Kiely bag.  It worked fine although the shirt is now a little worse for wear having had tears on it (not mine) and also a runny nose. It has just dodged a nose bleed from the youngest so has actually done quite well, considering how it all could have turned out!